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Does anyone know why AI pilots will sometimes follow an enemy plane, but not attack? I've mostly seen this at low altitude, with one or more planes following or circling a hedgehopper but not finishing him off. This morning I watched one of my J.15 pilots tailing a B.E.2 at an altitude of about 2,500 meters without firing, even though he should have been able to do so.

(Drink a toast to Leutnant Schultz, who jumped rather than burn on New Year's Day.)

Also, is there a hot key for a flight leader to order an attack, or for that matter, to order a retreat? (There's got to be some flares around here somewhere!)
That does seem awfully high for not shooting. But the AI does have trouble flying low to the found and will not fire when at certain distances.

As to getting your wingmen/squaddies to attack an enemy plane, I have read and been told, that is you select the enemy in question press F8 to get view of him, and then press ctrl+A (combat auto pilot) that it should also get your men on him. Then you press A to disengage auto-pilot and fight. I have tried this but am not really sure if it works as I have always been too busy in those situations to watch.

There is not an order to retreat, but there is an order to return to base. And that is ctrl+H. Only works if you are the squadron leader, and once your boys start going home, you can't call them back
Thanks! I'll try Ctrl+A and see what happens. I'd seen a post somewhere that mentioned Ctrl+H and had been using it, but had just thought it was another autopilot like the waypoint one.

Usually, pilots not attacking is just a nuisance (I mean, hey - who doesn't enjoy loitering at low altitude over the enemy trenches? The MG fire is so invigorating ....), but it's a bit distressing to watch one of your men jump from a burning plane while you struggle to gain enough altitude to help him out. :P